Definition of stilt in English:

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Pronunciation: /stilt/


1Either of a pair of upright poles with supports for the feet enabling the user to walk at a distance above the ground.
Example sentences
  • The entertainers stood out from the crowd, especially the drag queen on top of an eight foot high pair of stilts.
  • ‘I can't remember when I got my very first pair of stilts, but I was very young, and I just went from there,’ she said.
  • So he and his ensemble created a show featuring nine giraffes, each manned by two actors and a pair of stilts.
1.1Each of a set of posts or piles supporting a building above the ground.
Example sentences
  • Traditional buildings use stilts, heat-drawing chimneys, and spatial planning to increase ventilation and heat dissipation.
  • Baan Dvara Prateep is a compound of brand new wooden buildings erected on wooden stilts by the river bank.
  • Like most buildings in the region, these must be raised off the ground on low piles or stilts to ward off termites and rot.
1.2A small, flat, three-pointed support for ceramic ware in a kiln.
Example sentences
  • It is best to glaze lightly where the stilt will touch.
2A long-billed wading bird with predominantly black and white plumage and long slender reddish legs.
  • Family Recurvirostridae: two genera, in particular Himantopus, and several species.
Example sentences
  • You're likely to see waders as well as a variety of herons, stilts, and even the endangered West Indian whistling duck.
  • Herons, Egyptian geese, stilts and sandpipers are already frequent visitors to the site.
  • I observed a pair of ringed plovers, a new species for me, a common redshank, two dozen black-winged stilts and a yellow wagtail.


on stilts

1Supported by stilts.
Example sentences
  • Houses are tucked in or cantilevered out, the carports and backs of houses are supported on stilts, and verandahs and decks project over long drops, down to roofs or bush below.
  • And in addition, these coastal areas were homes to lots of farmers and fishermen who lived in thatched huts or stilts - or houses and small dwellings on stilts.
  • Mimicry artistes, ‘gazal’ singers, clowns on stilts and folk artistes entertained the supporters who accompanied candidates.
2(Of language) bombastic or stilted: he is talking nonsense on stilts, and he knows it
More example sentences
  • I am reminded of the phrase ‘nonsense on stilts.’
  • But common sense leads me to conclude that this is all nonsense on stilts.
  • Or is it that the externality idea is, as he puts it in that IEA pamphlet I link to above, really nonsense on stilts?


Middle English: of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stelt and German Stelze. sense 2 dates from the late 18th century.

Words that rhyme with stilt

atilt, built, gilt, guilt, hilt, jilt, kilt, lilt, quilt, silt, spilt, tilt, upbuilt, wilt

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: stilt

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